Users: Early adopters see productivity gains

Wavecrusher Boats of Warkworth and Parex Industries of Auckland are two happy Windows XP campers.

Wavecrusher Boats of Warkworth and Parex Industries of Auckland are two happy Windows XP campers.

Parex Industries distributes household appliances and has 60 staff members in New Zealand, and 25 in Australia. Systems administrator Ian Williamson describes the company as an “early adopter of new technology” and was interested in Windows XP the moment it was launched in October last year.

The upgrade to Windows XP for Parex Industries entailed shifting its server base from Windows NT 4 domain controllers to a Windows 2000-based Active Directory solution.

Williamson describes the migration process as “smooth” and says that the cost of deployment was “significantly lowered by being able to remotely install Windows XP for the New Zealand and Australian offices.”

Williamson says the usability improvements in Windows XP means the company “definitely expects an increase in worker productivity” and is happy a reduction in support issues coupled with improved stability has “resulted in a lower total cost of ownership”.

Wavecrusher Boats is a small family-owned firm that makes and sells power cruisers and motor yachts. The high-tech marine engineering company employs 15 people and migrated from Windows 98/2000 to XP under the watchful eye of self-proclaimed Microsoft sceptic Dean Waters.

Although past experiences of Microsoft products made Waters expect at least a few annoyances with Windows XP to complain about, so far it’s been smooth sailing for Wavecrusher.

The power users at Wavecrusher run CAD applications for their design and engineering work. Waters says that the increased performance and reliability that Windows XP has brought to Wavecrusher’s engineers have realised real productivity gains.

“If you can save even 25 minutes a day when rendering models and prototypes, you’re looking at some considerable savings over just a year,” Waters says.

Quizzed on whether or not the new licensing scheme was a hindrance, Waters said the company studied it carefully, and did feasibility studies. Wavecrusher considered other platforms as well, but Windows XP offered the best mix in terms of seamless integration, communications abilities and cost-performance, Waters says.

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